Santi Urrutia, following in the steps of Gonchi: it says have a “pre-contract” for 2018

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The pilot uruguayan Santi Urrutia is working intensely on the possibility of getting a seat in IndyCar for the season 2018. So what has asserted itself Urrutia on Thursday, in a surprising press conference held in Montevideo in which he has explained its plans for the next year and the possibilities of carrying it out.

Urrutia, who currently competes in Indy Lights with the team, Belardi Auto Racing, said he has “a pre-submitted for the IndyCar,”, and that there is more than one option to pursue their claims: “We are in negotiations with three teams from IndyCar to run next year, I can not say the names. We have achieved a 70%; the other 30%, but that 70% is already confirmed. I’m going to give 100% and keep working ‘full’ because the part that seemed more impossible, now we are close”. The pilot stated that the 70% comes from international sponsorships and seek to obtain the remaining 30%, an amount that could be around $ 2 million through companies in uruguay.

Although he did not know the name nor the potential of any of the teams that says to keep conversations, the uruguayan was quite optimistic about what would be your goals for next year: “Hopefully everything works out well for that 30% of the budget that is missing, and aim to win the championship in the IndyCar series next year. A friend taught me that you have to think big, and if I have the chance to be up there I’m going to fight par on par; because we are only three millions, I’m not going to shrink”. The last year had the chance to play a test in Sonoma with Schmidt, even if the second contact with the car will have to wait, as the own Urrutia ruled out being able to repeat experience in this 2017.

The IndyCar series could be facing one of its winters, the most active in terms of changes of pilot by the free agents of Ganassi, the possible change of engines Andretti and the entry of new teams, among other factors. In addition, the category released a new aerokit only one that should increase the competitiveness and overtaking the reduce the dependence of the aerodynamics, something which Urrutia says foster: “It’s a good time to move up to IndyCar because next year they change cars. The pilots that make years that are in the category have the experience, but the issue is conductive can be paired because you also have to learn how to drive the car again”, ” said the pilot of Miguelete.

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After a disastrous year with no points in GP3 with Koiranen, preceded by a fourth place in the Formula Abarth Italian (current Formula 4 Italian) and the European F3 Open (now EuroFormula Open), Santi Urrutia landed in the united States in 2015, getting the title of Pro Mazda the first with three victories, beating Neil Alberico. Last year, the uruguayan was surprised in Indy Lights with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, achieving four victories. However, an ill-timed puncture at Watkins Glen, winning in the races of Laguna Seca and a few controversial orders of team Carlin cost him the title by two points in favor of the emiratí Ed Jones, who today competes in IndyCar with positive results.

This year, Urrutia has signed with Belardi after the departure of Schmidt from the category, although he managed to reach an agreement with the latter to obtain the sponsorship that also looks like James Hinchcliffe in IndyCar. After a bad start to the year, the uruguayan has reacted in the second half — with a victory and seven podiums, occupies the third position in the general with 255 points, tied with Colton Herta for the second place, to lack of two races at Gateway and Watkins Glen. Although the 42 points of disadvantage with Kyle Kaiser are very difficult to recover, and with it the prize of a million dollars and three races of IndyCar, Urrutia could repeat runner-up position..

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Urrutia, who will turn 21 on the 30th of August, looking to become the first pilot of Uruguay in winning the 500 miles of Indianapolis, and the third party that competes in the IndyCar series. The last one was Juan Caceres, who finished 15th in the Grand Prix of Road America 2006 in the Champ Car, but the first was the figure par excellence of modest motorsport local. Gonzalo ‘Gonchi” Rodr√≠guez, which competed in the Formula 3000 International after having been third in 1998, had the opportunity to contest the Grand Prix of Detroit, 1999, in the second car of the legendary Team Penske, which is going through its worst moments, and got a point at the end of the twelfth.

His second opportunity came a month later at Laguna Seca, being at that time second in the F3000. Unfortunately, in practice, the accelerator Gonchi got stuck the way of the fearsome ‘corkscrew’ and the pilot impacted head against a concrete wall, dying in the act. Urrutia believes that “to have the ‘chance’ to follow in their footsteps is a privilege”. Not in vain, he lost the title in Indy Lights last year on the same circuit and on the same day, 17 years later. Only 30% away from able to emulate his idol.